University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture
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Keywords

Greenhouse, Aquaponics, Tilapia, Gardening

Abstract

Taking advantage of inherent natural systems, aquaponic practices hold the potential to serve as an educational, sustainable, and profitable hobby for home gardeners facing common constraints such as temperature, space, and pests. The goal of this research was to assess the feasibility of implementing a small scale (4,542-liter) home -based aquaponic system in a small (48.768 square meter) greenhouse to produce fresh produce and fish protein. System construction and maintenance costs were compared to the value of crops and fish produced to determine whether this aquaponic system is a feasible option for the home grower. It was hypothesized that this system will breakeven in five years. Results showed that such a system can be successfully built and operated to yield fresh produce, fish protein and a high value composted fertilizer on an annual basis. However, the payback period for the system can be five years or even longer, depending on the estimation of future costs and benefits and discount rates used. Results and experience from the greenhouse system have been and will continue to be used for system improvements, education into natural systems, designs for others, as well as a guide for aquaponic systems moving forward.

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